Thursday, February 14, 2008
Romantic Era and mode mixture
During the Romantic Era, composers used chromatic alterations to intensify a feeling in a work. This was because during the era, emotion was very important in a work, whether it was vocal or instrumental. An example of a work that used this concept is Franz Schubert's "Du Bist die Ruh." It is a romantic song in which the singer express feelings for their love. Schubert uses many chromatic tones throughout, as well as modal mixture chords. An example of expressive mode mixture chords are seen in m.54-57 (I bVI6 bIII bVI). These alterations are used to reflect the meaning of the text "dies angenzelt von deinem glanz allein erhellt", meaning "the tabernacle of my eyes by your radiance alone is illuminated oh fill it completely!" The mode mixture chords create a dramatic change in the harmony that pushes towards the climax in m. 60. The mood for both the singer and the listener is one of intense emotional build-up that is released finally in m.60. The harmonic change also creates a surprise for the listener, as well as a change of moods, because instead of the expected I5-6 heard in the beginning of the work in m.8-9, Schubert introduces the b3 and b6 to build to the climax and create the emotional build-up necessary. On the word "vision", there is a release to the tonic, which gives the singer and listener a feeling of enlightenment and resolution.